Kroger goes from cashierless to driverless

Kroger says its plans to offer same-day delivery via Nuro’s fleet of autonomous vehicles.

A few months after announcing it would launch cashierless checkout, Kroger is bringing that same innovative spunk to grocery delivery.

America’s largest supermarket chain is teaming up with Nuro, maker of the world’s first fully unmanned road vehicle, to make grocery delivery more convenient and affordable for consumers.

Kroger says its plans to offer same-day delivery via Nuro’s fleet of autonomous vehicles.

"We are incredibly excited about the potential of our innovative partnership with Nuro to bring the future of grocery delivery to customers today," says Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer. "As part of Restock Kroger, we have already started to redefine the grocery customer experience and expand the coverage area for our anything, anytime and anywhere offering. Partnering with Nuro, a leading technology company, will create customer value by providing Americans access to fast and convenient delivery at a fair price."

This is the first application and deployment of Nuro's hardware and software. The pilot market will be announced soon and is expected to begin this fall, Kroger said.

In addition to the partnership with Nuro, Kroger announced its new digital team headquarters in the Cincinnati, which will house approximately 600 Kroger digital associates. Kroger said it expects to grow its digital team to more than 1,000 over the next three years.

This announcement comes shortly after Kroger announced its exclusive partnership with online grocery supermarket Ocado and merged with Home Chef to evolve and grow its digital business.

Last week, Kroger reported its first quarter digital sales grew by 66% and that its existing seamless coverage area now reaches approximately 75% of its customers. This includes its network of ClickList locations, stores offering home delivery through Instacart and now Nuro.

"We decided to locate Kroger's Digital HQ here because we love Cincinnati," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We believe growing our digital team here will support Cincinnati becoming a destination for digital and tech talent."

Currently, Kroger operates 2,800 stores in 35 states across the U.S.